Acupuncture is one of the oldest medical practises in the world. Its roots can be traced back to ancient China. It continues to be regarded as a trusted and effective treatment for a wide range of ailments and conditions all around the globe.
During an acupuncture session, tiny needles are inserted into specific points on the skin by a trained practitioner. These points correspond to certain parts of the body, and are referred to as ‘meridians’ – places where energy is said to flow in the body. The objective is to stimulate energy flow in the body in order to resolve health issues.
Now, having needles stuck into your body undoubtedly sounds like a painful proposition. But don’t freak out! Acupuncture, when done right, is actually a relatively pain-free process which, far from causing pain, can relieve you of chronic pain afflicting your body, among a lot of other benefits.
Still not convinced? Read on to learn about six great health benefits of acupuncture.
#1. Relieves Headaches and Migraines:
One of the most well-known, and most highly verified, benefits of acupuncture, is its ability to relieve the pain from headaches and migraines. This is accomplished through acupuncture around the face, scalp and neck. The exact mechanism behind this is unknown, but multiple research studies have validated the positive impact of this treatment. Moreover, acupuncture is a reliable means of relieving chronic neck pain.
#2. Treats Anxiety
Anti-anxiety drugs tend to have a number of side-effects, including nausea and depression. A far better approach to treating disorders such as anxiety neurosis and generalized anxiety disorder is acupuncture. Again, the exact mechanism for this is unknown, but clinical studies have proven the effectiveness of this course of treatment – to the extent that it is now accepted by many as a viable alternative to medication in cases of stress and anxiety.
#3. Alleviates Insomnia
Sleeping pills, and other such medication, have long been the refuge of those suffering from insomnia. Needless to say, these medications come with a laundry-list of side-effects. Studies have shown that acupuncture has been very effective when it comes to reducing the frequency of insomnia, more so in fact than sleeping pills or herbal treatments. This particular beneficial effect has been attributed to acupuncture increasing the secretion of nocturnal melatonin, a chemical that helps induce sleep.
#4. Relieves Arthritis Pain
Acupuncture is an effective drug-free treatment option for reducing the painful and debilitating effects of arthritis. Insertion of needles into the meridians (i.e. energy points) that correspond to the knees, back, joints etc. trigger the release of endorphin that reduce the debilitating pain that arthritis patients periodically face in the aforementioned parts of the body. In addition to providing pain relief, acupuncture also enhances the patient’s range of motion. Increasingly, an unusual variation of acupuncture, referred to as Bee Venom Acupuncture, is gaining popularity. It involves the application of bee venom at the point of penetration of the needle.Recommended Read : 10 Home Remedies for Arthritis
#5. Helps Prevent Cognitive Decline
There is evidence to suggest that acupuncture can help to reduce or prevent the cognitive decline caused by the ageing of the brain, which if left unchecked can cause diseases such as Parkinson’s. Studies have revealed that Parkinson’s patients who have undergone acupuncture reported improvements in walking, handwriting and sleeping, as well as reduced pain, tremors, anxiety and depression.
#6. Improves Recovery from Chemotherapy
Acupuncture has been shown to enhance the recovery process for those who have undergone chemotherapy treatments for cancer. One study revealed that acupuncture reduced the severity of chemotherapy side-effects – particularly the pain and nausea associated with the treatment – in addition to enhancing immunity, improving the platelet count and giving a boost to healthy cells in the patients.Recommended Read : The Link between Diet and Breast Cancer
There are a myriad of other ways in which acupuncture can help you resolve health issues – helping with postpartum health, acting against indigestion and heartburn, improving vision, treating erectile dysfunction etc.
In case you have any lingering safety concerns, remember that the FDA regulates acupuncture needles in the United States, decreeing that they should be sterile, non-toxic, and labelled for one-time use only by qualified practitioners. Moreover, the risk of complications arising from the use of acupuncture needles is believed to be negligible. So if you are someone suffering from any of the ailments discussed above, acupuncture is definitely a mode of treatment you should seriously consider opting for.